RACE PREVIEW: Laura Secord Memorial 100K

ls-logo-webIt’s only a few weeks out from a brand new ultra in the Niagara Region.  The Laura Secord 100K will take advantage of some of the amazing trails that Niagara has to offer with the bulk of the course on the Bruce Trail system in and around the eastern end of the Niagara Escarpment.

This race is unique in that it is being organized in conjunction with the Canadian Army Reserves who will be using the race day as a training exercise.  Soldiers will be participating in two events – a team running relay and a marching relay where soldiers will traverse the course with a fully weighted kit.  The solo civilian runners will run on the same course.

The course is made up of two distinct sections.  The first is a loop to the east of the starting area that travels around Lake Gibson, Brock University, and Twelve Mile Creek.  I run this section all year round and know it like the back of my hand.  It consists of single track and double track with some nice climbs up and down the escarpment.  The terrain isn’t technical, and the scenery is quite diverse.  The second half of the race is an out and back heading west towards Beamsville.  I am much less familiar with this part of the route, but know it to be more technical and rugged.  From what I see on the elevation chart for the route, we will be consistently running either up hills or down them – it is quite a jagged profile!

With the abnormally cold and snowy winter we are enduring in Niagara, I suspect one of the major challenges will be course conditions.  At this point, much of the route is still covered in snow, ice and slush and we experienced another significant winter storm a few days ago.  With 3 weeks to go, things will likely be pretty muddy out there.  Also, with a 5AM start, we will be running by headlamp for at least 1.5 hours in the morning.  The first loop is on well established trail and should be easy to navigate.

There will also be a 25km race for those who want a shorter day out there.  The fields will be small, but there are still some spots left in both the 100 km and 25 km race.  Registration closes on April 2, 2014 or when the relatively small field limit of 100 in the 100 km and 50 in the 25 km are met.  Hope to see you out there!

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